Wednesday, 26 January 2011

Buzz Bee Belt Blaster Review

Today, I'm peeling away from Nerf to talk about a rival company, Buzz Bee. They are one of the legitimate rival companies (ie don't just take Nerf stuff, repaint and slightly alter) and some of their designs are quite good. The blaster I am reviewing is one of those.

Anyone who's played Halo will probably say something like "It looks like an Assault Rifle/Spartan Lazor", and that's does. Just a bright green/orange belt-fed foam-dart-shooting version that wouldn't harm the Covenant or Flood in any way. Oh, yeah, and with a pump handle.

The Belt Blaster comes with 30 belt shells which can be snapped off and re-joined by just a quick movement from the wrist. This helps you configure it to whatever game you're playing. However, the shells are also prone to breaking - I've broken 4 already. These shells also hinder performance - a lot of air escapes through the gap between the shell tha the plunger mechanism. It also comes with 30 Buzz Bee darts, which are shorter and stiffer than Nerf darts. This means less warping on the dart (look at a streamline dart when it gets jammed) and you can use it in blasters where Nerf darts will be damaged/destroyed.

I really don't like the grips on this blaster. They are angled and sharp, which makes it rather painful to extensively use.

Because the Belt Blaster is made by Buzz Bee, it is cheaper than if Nerf was to make it. It is also slightly lower quality. The Belt Blaster functions similar to a Nerf Raider, only without a jam door and the slam-fire function (will explain in AT review). It is a simple pull and push of the front handle, then pull the trigger to fire. However, because the belt is rotated from pulling the front handle, it can get stressful constantly pulling and pushing the handle. This lack of slam-fire is understandable as: a) it's a Nerf feature and this is a Buzz Bee blaster, and b) it'll be hard to make a slamfire work in a cheap blaster with shells (mine cost $25) - you'll probably break half the shells trying.

The Belt Blaster isn't particularly powerful, because of a small plunger and a bad air seal between the plunger mechanism and the shells. Even with mods, my Belt Blaster can only get 6-8m. Angled, it can reach a very maximum of about 10m (with Buzz Bee darts). Now it gets 9-10m flat easy. I forgot to lubricate the o-ring. It turns out I screwed up the mods. Even so, modding potential is minimal as there is no AR and the shells suck.

The Belt Blaster is an okay starter weapon - it was my first blaster. 30 shots is a good number, especially when you remember than Vulcan belts hold up to 25 darts, and the Raider's drum holds (officially) 35 darts. However, I don't really recommend it as the AT is better in almost every aspect.
Especially with the Elite line out, the Belt Blaster is totally outclassed in range and ROF, although its capacity is still an edge over most Nerf blasters.

High capacity, capacity is variable, ROF of 3 dps is possible, cheap
Shells are very easy to break, darts occasionally spiral out, handles are uncomfortable, stock is too short, non Buzz Bee darts can fall out easily (e.g. whistlers), exposed belt is extremely clumsy

Power: 3/7
Accuracy: 4/5
Value for Money: 4/5
Usability: 3/5
Rate of fire: 2.5/5
Overall: 3.13/5

Personal Rating: 1.5/5 - never really liked it, except for novelty value. The belt shells are terrible.

Looks kiddy, functions ok. Can get really annoying.